The Pitt Rivers Museum has been awarded £92,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund an 18-month project Beyond the Binary: Queering and Questioning Collections and Displays at the Pitt Rivers Museum.
The project, which starts in December 2018, will build on existing engagement work with LGBTQ+ stakeholders with the aim of transforming the museum through events, interpretation and exhibitions and reshaping the Pitt Rivers as a welcoming inclusive space.
Working with a broad range of partners, from researchers to community activists, the project will challenge historical interpretations of the museum’s collections – offering alternative understandings from people with different identities as well as identifying human histories that are unrepresented as a result of intolerance. This is so that no individual or group feels excluded from the museum because of their sexuality or gender, and so that all visitors – however they might identify themselves – can understand humanity better.
In addition to exploring the existing collections, this project will include a community-focussed acquisition programme for LGBTQ+ cultural and historical artefacts. Objects will be collected from British communities and across the globe that highlight traditions of gender non-conformity, bringing British LGBTQ+ heritage into conversation with global LGBTQ+ material culture.
Michelle Roffe, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for South East England, said: “We are proud to support this important collaboration between the Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford’s LGBTQ+ communities. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will record and share historically underrepresented stories through new and existing collections, ensuring that the Museum engages with and represents more of the diverse histories of Oxford, the UK and the wider world.”